With FDI, Ayurveda set to go global

KPM Basheer Kochi | Updated on February 19, 2014 Published on February 19, 2014

KSIDC making a push to attract investments in drug manufacturing

By cashing in on the increasing global curiosity in Ayurveda’s effectiveness in managing lifestyle diseases and chronic illnesses, the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation is making a push to woo foreign investments in ayurvedic drug manufacturing.

“Kerala is the cradle of ayurveda and home to many revered treatment institutions,” says T P Thomaskutty, Executive Director of KSIDC. “But investment in ayurvedic drug-making and related areas is poor.”

As part of its strategy to expose ayurveda to international investors and entrepreneurs, KSIDC is organising a two-day International Business Meet in Kochi on February 21-22, alongside the Global Ayurvedic Festivalbeginning on Thursday.

The GAF, claimed to be the biggest-ever Ayurvedic event, is expected to see attendees from more than two dozen countries.

The event, to be opened by Mauritius President Rajkeswur Puryaag, aims to showcase Kerala as the global destination of ayurveda.

Thomaskutty pointed out that though the potential of this alternative and holistic system of healthcare and wellness is immense, but ayurveda as a business proposal is yet to be fired up.

“The scope for investment in manufacturing, distribution and setting up of specialised treatment centres is really vast,” he told Business Line.

A major problem for the international healthcare community with ayurveda is the poor application of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and quality control. For instance, high metallic content in ayurvedic preparations, has always been a concern. Substantial investment in the sector would help update and standardise manufacturing techniques and adoption of GMP, Thomaskutty contends.

Many western countries such as Germany are keenly interested in alternative systems of medicine which are holistic and do not have the side effects of modern medicine. Traditional oriental systems of medicines are gaining acceptance in these countries against the backdrop of a rise in lifestyle diseases. Thomaskutty points out that the total annual turnover of ayruvedic drug in the country is roughly ₹9,000 crore, and Kerala’s share, in spite of its reputation as the cradle of ayurveda, is a mere ₹1,000 crore.

Exports are worth a paltry ₹1,500 crore. “The international business meet will facilitate major investment in the sector so that Kerala’s annual ayurvedic drug turnover will go up to ₹5,000 crore by 2020,” Thomaskutty hopes. “We also want to scale up exports.”

Published on February 19, 2014
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